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The Welsh collie, also sometimes known as the Welsh sheepdog, is a herding sheepdog that originates from Wales, and is widely owned today as both a working herding dog and as a pet. More common within Wales than in other parts of the UK, the breed is nevertheless popular among dog owners around the country who love collies of all types, and the particular traits of the Welsh collie specifically.
The Welsh collie is classed as a landrace dog, which means that they are a naturally occurring breed within Wales, which has been domesticated and adapted within their local geographic area as a breed in its own right. The appearance of the Welsh collie can vary quite a bit from dog to dog, with the working ability of the breed being more highly prized than their looks. They come in a wide variety of colours, may be longhaired or shorthaired, and can have either pricked or slightly drooping ears.
Like most dogs from the collie and sheepdog groupings, the Welsh collie is a highly intelligent breed that is also very lively and active, making them both excellent working dogs but also potentially rather a handful to own! If you love collies and are confident in your understanding of their traits and your ability to manage one, the Welsh collie might be worthy of consideration as a pet.
Read on to learn more about the Welsh collie dog breed.
The Welsh sheepdog is a highly intelligent companion that is tenacious, bright and always thinking! They are more than capable of staying one step ahead of owners who do not keep their eye on the ball, and are also incredibly lively, and can be prone to being excitable.
They are always ready to play, and love all forms of canine sport, playing ball and generally running around. They are friendly, personable and loving with their families, but can be slightly reserved with strangers.
Like the more common Border collie, the Welsh collie needs a significant amount of exercise, and for homes where they do not fulfil a working role, several hours per day should be dedicated to keeping them busy! They need several hours of on the lead walking or supervised free running every day, and like plenty of interaction with their owners, loving games such as catch with a ball or Frisbee, and being more than capable of turning their paws to almost any canine sport.
The Welsh collie is near the top of the list in terms of canine intelligence by breed, but high intelligence does not always equate to a dog that is particularly easy to train! Their high level of intelligence is often underestimated, and they can pick up new skills and commands with just a couple of repetitions at times, and are also excellent at learning by observation.
They do not need a lot of repetition or belabouring the point when it comes to teaching them new skills, and benefit from a lot of variety in their training regime, and ongoing training throughout their lives.
The Welsh collie is certainly likely to pursue smaller prey including wildlife and cats if permitted to, but once properly trained, they will usually demonstrate excellent recall skills and good obedience. They are naturally a herding breed that does not need to be taught basic herding skills, meaning that they may also have a propensity to attempt to herd livestock and wildlife without any encouragement, which should of course be curbed!
The Welsh collie can live happily with other dogs, and will be personable with strange dogs if they are correctly socialised. They love playing with other active, lively dogs, and enjoy having company to run around with.
They can live with cats providing that they are introduced at a young age, and are properly trained not to chase or herd the cat!
The Welsh collie needs a home with active, energetic families that either live in the country and spend the greater part of most days outside, or that are able to spend several hours per day seeing to the dog’s need for exercise and mental stimulation.
They generally get on well with children, and will play happily with older children, often instigating games of catch when they think they have spotted someone who will entertain them! They may have a tendency to herd smaller children, but will generally widely ignore them until they are old enough to throw a ball! The Welsh collie that is properly exercised and well balanced in terms of their care is generally friendly and personable with children, and not prone to aggression, however, the children should also of course be taught the limits of acceptable behaviour around the dog.
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